Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What the hell is "open core"

Now form where has this term come from, I am unable to fathom. This is the "class 1" evil, the free software community has to keep out of the freedom ecosystem. This will bind the freedom core(FLOSS base system) and encapsulate it with a proprietary shell. Much of what we are seeing with Android devices is basically this piece of shit. Every system manufacturer is having his own proprietary UI on the android(open core)

Android is a lesson for the freedom evangelists of how any license can be twisted to meet the proprietary requirements. I have always bothered about this happening whenever I come across a realtime or embedded os based on GNU/Linux. Android played safe to see the effect of backlash from the GNU/Linux community by creating a layer of java for the apps to communicate. With this google made sure that the apps developed for the android platform are always safe to run though the OS beneath the java layer can be changed for any other alternative like Mach or a combo of Mach and bsd(available in a nearly public domain licence, much of what apple has done with osx). The move has backfired in a very bizzare way, on an issue which google did not anticipate at all(ie, oracle going after google for java itself!!!!!!!).

If that layer has problems from IP infringements, there is a huge task ahead of google, that of replacing that particular code with self implemenation.

Now, the discussion is about open core. All glitzy and fancy names are given to the UI(particularly touch screen UIs). But contribution in this field from any of the proprietary manufacturers to the FLOSS world is zero. Google has a successful fork of the Linux kernel, apps created can run only on the java implementation of google(this has constrained the apps, which otherwise would be available to the freedom world). So, open core results in "constrained" freedom

Well, we now have a variant of freedom, ie, constrained freedom. Freedom w.r.t google java implementation only. The same apps would not run on a meego mobile, since its java implementation would be different.

I hate the concept of open core, I hate and desist the whole ecosystem being developed with that as the basis. This is the reason I am not buying an android phone. I hope that when meego is released it does not have any concepts of the open core. Right now, I love the way N900 is created and hope that when a complete implementation of meego runs on it, the resulting freedom is the same. This hope is because that is my next freedom phone.

As in Sri Mahatm Gandhis' words only "sampoorna aazaadi" (complete freedom) is my demand and right.

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Nobody can deter me away from "free as in freedom" concept seeded by Sri RMS. See to it that u dont make fun of my belief. If u think otherwise, no need to comment.